Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What is a phuey sac?

Every culture has perfectly mundane phrases that take on bizarre new meanings when translated literally. In Khmer, a "phuey sac" (the first word rhymes with Roy, and the second with Mike) has some odd connotations when it makes the jump to English.

From an amazing book that just came out:
For Cambodians, your true love — the one who holds you tight on cold nights — is a "phuey sac." Literally a "flesh blanket." This sounds like an accessory from Hannibal Lecter's line of horrific home furnishings, something to curl up under and enjoy a nice Chianti, but it's considered a powerful term of endearment by Cambodians. Everyone wants to find a phuey sac to keep them warm at night.
Cambodia may be a poor country, but it's rich in odd phrases.

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